Xbox E3 news, the pioneering new GIX partnership and big data analytics – Weekend Reading: June 19 Edition

 |   Athima Chansanchai

Welcome to the latest edition of Weekend Reading, where we bring you the news Xbox announced during E3, the groundbreaking Global Innovation Exchange partnership to establish a new science and technology focused academic institute and a Next at Microsoft podcast about the incredible predictive powers of big data analytics.

The Xbox E3 briefing Monday uncovered swell upon swell of news, including the reveal of “Halo 5: Guardians” Warzone, a fully featured version of “Minecraft” for Microsoft HoloLens and the news that Xbox will be the only console to support backward compatibility natively, with certain Xbox 360 games now available for free. Also at E3, new ID@Xbox titles debuted, but fans of independent games also got sneak peeks at eagerly awaited updates to favorites. There’s also going to be an all-new user experience coming to Xbox One this fall. Another E3 announcement: Xbox Game Preview, a new pilot program that lets players download a selection of games for free and give feedback while the games are still in development. Find more recaps at Major Nelson’s blog and Xbox Wire. Hotly anticipated blockbuster games also made grand appearances at E3, including “Gears of War 4,” “Forza Motorsport 6,” “Gigantic” and “Rise of the Tomb Raider.”

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Thursday, we saw the announcement of the Global Innovation Exchange, or GIX, a pioneering partnership between the University of Washington, Beijing-based Tsinghua University and Microsoft. Imagine a place where students from different corners of the world can collaborate, innovate and create, surrounded by both the rigor of a university and the entrepreneurial encouragement of real-world know-how. This partnership aims to build a one-of-a-kind education program and custom facility in the Seattle metropolitan area.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HdtH35h3JM

The fourth episode of the Next at Microsoft podcast series is now available for download. In this edition, AccuWeather Vice President Jon Porter and Drew Purves, a Microsoft researcher, talk about the power of big data analytics to make predictions about things like  weather, climate change and food security.

Clarice Chan, program manager
Clarice Chan, program manager (Photo by Scott Eklund/Redbox Pictures)

We also saw the story on the Microsoft JobsBlog about the people working to bring to life Windows 10’s much-anticipated new browser, Microsoft Edge. It’s an exciting project and a defining time for about 300 software engineers, designers, program managers and people with a variety of other skills — as well as the teams they collaborate with across the company — as they look ahead to the new browser’s primetime debut when Windows 10 launches July 29.

Juliet Morrison. Photo by Victoria Carter.
Juliet Morrison. Photo by Victoria Carter.

We also saw two more inspiring #DoMore profiles: Juliet Morrison and Robert Twomey. In her quest to combat infectious diseases, Morrison combines new computational tools with traditional scientific methods, and she looks at ways to turn down a body’s immune response to a virus (which can sometimes go overboard), rather than fighting the virus itself. That’s how she and a team made a breakthrough discovery of six potential drugs to treat H7N9, a new virulent avian flu strain. Seattle artist Twomey creates work that lives in the crossroads of human desire and machine perception. His installation, performance and interactive pieces are a thoughtful, surreal mix of automation and empathy, inviting viewers to explore identity, cognition and their interaction with machines.

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Besides the bevy of activity at E3, games and apps made news, too. An exclusive partnership between TaylorMade and Microsoft brings a new golf experience to Microsoft Health and Microsoft Band that could improve your game.

Get creative with contraptions in “Inventioneers,” the App of the Week, or test your trivia knowledge with QuizUp. Or maybe photos and videos are more your thing. If so, check out PicPlayPost, the Windows Phone exclusive Videoshop and SloPro. Others for your consideration: Red Stripe Deals, “Inside Out Thought Bubbles” and “Carcassonne.”

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This week we continued on our journey to the Special Olympics World Games with our spokesdudes, Sam and Mattie. Watch as they share their personal goals and go above and beyond in their hometown games.

Thanks for checking out this edition of Weekend Reading. See you next week!

Posted by Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff